|The Golden Eagles John Rogers, a freshman from Seattle, Wash. works the ball against an opponent on Friday night. The CEU men now have a record of 5-1 going into the SLCC Tournament this weekend.|
While BYU and Utah were playing football in Salt Lake on Saturday night, with big hopes on the line for both, the College of Eastern Utah mens basketball team were also advancing their dreams on the same evening.
Those hopes are for a winning season and if hustle is any indication of how well the team will do, CEU certainly has a shot at something big down the road. On back to back nights they defeated preseason opponents convincingly taking apart the Clearfield Job Corp Bulldogs 125-40 of Friday evening and the Salt Lake Metro All-Stars 86-78 on Saturday evening.
While this is the usual preseason fare that many colleges put together for an early tournament, with non-college teams participating, the skills and enthusiam exhibited by this Golden Eagle team gives great hope for the future.
In the game against Clearfield the CEU men started out strong and never looked back. The Job Corp players were out manned from the beginning, as the home team pulled away quickly.
However, despite the lopsided score, the CEU mens team didn't slow down or stop hustling for the ball. A good demonstration of that was when the ball was lost by CEU at the west end of the court about three quarters of the way through the first half. The score was 58-15, yet freshman Colby Vranes sped across the floor and laid down a patch of his skin to save the ball as he crashed hard into the scorers table.
He hit the table so hard that it knocked out the scoreboards for about a minute.
That type of play was shown all night as the team glided to victory. Five players ended up in double figures in scoring and only one person on the team didn't at least score two points.
Eldridge Henderson led all scorers with 23 points, while Jamaal Smith had 14, Cornelius Penn had 13 and Tate Sorensen and Belford Williams had 11 each.
The top rebounding total was shared by Sorensen and John Rogers with five a piece. Vranes led the team in hustle and in assists with nine.
The Clearfield Bulldogs were led by Reyshawn Shepard with 17 points and 9 assists.
Saturday nights contest was a very different game from Fridays. The Metro All-Stars were truly that, a team. Despite their relatively small size, they operated well and kept the game close through most of the contest. They were never behind by more than 12 points and at times threatened to lead a few times.
When things were over, however the Golden Eagles had placed three players in double figures. They were led by Chris Lang with 19 points 5 assists and 13 rebounds, followed by Vranes with 13 and Henderson with 11. Sorensen had 10 rebounds in the game.
The team now spends Thanksgiving weekend along the Wasatch Front at the Salt Lake Community College Tournament playing Westminster College of Salt Lake in one game and Treasure Valley Community College.
The regular season will begin Dec. 3 when Dixie State College comes to the BDAC to face the Golden Eagles in Scenic West Conference action.